The 2005 Mouton Rothschild will have to take a back seat to the prodigious 2006, but administrator Philippe Dalhuin deserves considerable credit for pushing Mouton to higher quality levels over recent years. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest mostly Merlot, the dark purple-hued 2005 exhibits a restrained but promising nose of cedar, tobacco leaf, creme de cassis, and toasty oak. Full-bodied, tannic, and extremely backward, with the vintage's tell-tale acidity, it appears to be even more closed in the bottle than it was from barrel. It does possess a long finish and multilayered mouthfeel. This is an undeniably outstanding, yet restrained, shy wine for a Mouton Rothschild. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040+
Once again proprietor Alfred Tesseron has produced a wine of first-growth potential. One of the superstars of the vintage, Pontet-Canet’s 2011 exhibits an opaque purple color and a glorious bouquet of incense, subtle toast and copious quantities of creme de cassis. There is a floral underpinning, decent acidity and ripe tannin to this full-bodied effort. Big, rich, round and generously endowed, it should drink well for 20-25+ years.